Would the real missionaries please stand up

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you know i started thinking about our WMS and i started wondering what is it they do. they greet,meet, and eat. every church i've been i had to establish other ministries to do the work that the missionaries are supposed to be doing. all they have is the ypd. and after young men get up in age they can't even join the parenting body so we are really supporting single parenting. we need to drop that name womens and be missionaries. one of the greatest missionaries of our time is DR. Josephus R. Coan. we can go to africa and see his work. what work can we see of our womens missionary department. i heard a missionary say she dosen't bother with children. people on street corners pimps and pushers in our schools. and the missionaries won't get up and do something. our other out reach or evangilistic ministries have to do it. so will the real missionaries please stand up.

-- Anonymous, September 24, 2003


Confused Pastor -

First, let me state that I find your pen name rather intriguing. You have raised a controversial yet important issue about the WMS. Unfortunately, much of our AME jargon, locutions and keywords signal the wrong things. I stated in my church school several weeks ago that reference to an AME church being "1st church" may appear innocuous but in the minds of fellow AMEers who are not members at the "1st church" it can promote envy and feelings of inferiority. The Epsistle of James clearly denounces practices by the body of Chirst which results in big "I's" and little "You's". The same problem is found in the term WMS. Missionary activity is somehow mis- defined as work for just women. This is sheer nonsense!! The Great Commission (St. Matthew 28:19-20) is gender-neutral!! If the Episcopal Supervisor is supposed to be in charge of the WMS for that particular District, how can Stan McKenzie, husband of Bishop McKenzie, be denied full rights as a member of WMS? I am all in favor of dropping "women" from WMS but the regrettable political reality is that it won't happen because the women who control the WMS will never relinquish this form of identity and influence. This is yet another example where theology and tradition clash but the defenders of the status quo, traditionalists, outnumber the advocates of change, i.e. the reformers. If the WMS wishes to function like a sorority, so be it. Just remember, at one time in the AMEC there were barriers to entry in the clergy and the Steward Board based on gender. QED

-- Anonymous, September 24, 2003

This issue was recently addressed at the WMS quadrenniel. I strongly suggest both of you review the Connectional President's report on this very subject.

-- Anonymous, September 24, 2003

Re: Sis Simms post. Does anyone know how we can view the WMS Connectional President's Report? Thanks.

-- Anonymous, September 24, 2003

Carolyn -

How was the matter addressed? Will men have full rights in the WMS? Will the term "women" be dropped in the official name? I was not present at the Quadrennial in Dallas, TX. No one invited me. I wonder why???Can you provide a URL to the WMS President's report which you cite? QED

-- Anonymous, September 24, 2003

Brother Bill,

The issue of whether men have full rights in WMS should have been answered when Bishop McKenzie's husband became Epsicopal Supervisor, and thus the head of that District's WMS.......

Adding more gasoline to the fire......

-- Anonymous, September 29, 2003

Well, I couldn't agree more. The name must be changed to Women's Association, but the WMS IS DEFINITELY NOT THE MISSIONARY ORGAN of the AME Church. And my concern is not only with the WMS, but with all these many organizations that are without agendas and activities on the local level.

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2003

Come off it guys. Don't even attempt to go there! How chauvinistic can we be? Perhaps if you had attended the Local Society meetings, which I have done since I was two and the Missionary Quadrennial Conventions, as I have also done. Then you might find out the work they have done and continue to do and you might also find something constructive for your Local Sons of Allen to do.

The most recent Quadrennial I attended was at the age of 50 eight years ago. Other men my age and older were also in attendance, so I was not alone and you might suspect--not just Bishops and General Officers and young men belonging to the YPD.

My own grandmother served as the first President of the Atlanta Georgia Conference WHF Missionary Society when Mrs. Laura Lemons Turner organized it. My mother served as Local President and a Lifetime member of WMS as well.

Since I come from a family of persons who have served as lifetime members, local, district and conference presidents, dating back to its inception in my Episcopal District, I am quite aware that the name has changed several times before. This was done as the vision expanded and work became more global in its scope and outreach.

These include The Dorcas Society of 1824, and The Daughters of the Conference of 1827, organized by Sarah Allen, Richard Allen's wife; followed by Women's Parent Mite and Women's Home and Foreign Missionary Society and finally WMS in 1944.

With the addition of Episcopal Supervisors who are men, perhaps Sarah Allen Missionary Society would now be the most fitting and appropriate name.

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2003

I am so excited about the missionary society in my church. It is called "Make a Difference" missionary society. And the men in our church are very, very active. Our President of the sons of allen has suggested mission projects.

This week the men are helping us sort clothes that we are taking down to the Crow reservation. The indians in Montana are very, very poor. The children will also help us pack clothes.

My church was very, very fortunate to have the support of Dr. Peck and the national wms for guidance. Since we are a new church to the denomination. I would suggest anyone needing help in their local society to cotact the new wms president and other national officers.

Mission work is not gender specific, God calls all of us to do his work.

Taking the ame church to indian reservations is one of our church's long range goals. Our other upcoming mission projects include halloween party at nursing home, Christmas card workshop for the community where children make christmas cards for police and firefighters. We do this with the public library. We then have an assembly at one of the schools and do a presentation to the officers. Outreach to group home by providing DMC.

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2003

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